Nico Collins opted out of the 2020 Michigan football season but so far, it hasn’t hurt him when it comes to the NFL draft.
I didn’t necessarily think it would hurt the way teams thought of Collins, especially if he worked out well and all of that.
But if other wide receivers put together big seasons, which some did, it felt like he could get washed down draft boards a little bit.
It’s not like he had huge production in his three seasons for Michigan football. He was a full-time starter basically for two and caught 78 passes for 1,388 yards and 13 touchdowns.
This past season was supposed to be his time to shine but with the pandemic, it didn’t happen and as it turns out, Collins draft stock is doing just fine.
Collins impressed at the Senior Bowl
Nico got an invite to the Senior Bowl, which was deserved because he was one of the top prospects at wide receiver in the senior class heading into the season.
Collins has rare size at 6-foot-4 but he impressed scouts and people at the Senior Bowl by showing up at 215 pounds and looking in better shape than when he was a Wolverine.
Here’s what Jim Nagy, the director of scouting at the Senior Bowl tweeted about Collins Saturday
Basically, Collins is 15 pounds lighter and as we talked about before, he really did help himself during Senior Bowl week by doing some good things against top corners.
There’s certainly still going to be some projecting with Collins. However, there’s definitely momentum with his draft stock and while I don’t think he will crack the top 50, I do think that him coming off the board in the second round is entirely possible.
Teams that need a receiver but don’t want to spend a first-round pick would be wise to target Collins, who probably has his best days ahead of him.
Imagine him on a team like Green Bay, opposite a true No. 1 receiver and getting singled up? He could thrive in that type of set up and it’s possible he goes somewhere like that.
Collins has first-round ability and looked like an early-round pick at the Senior Bowl, so at this point, it looks like he made the right decision by opting out.